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Availability heuristic

We tend to judge the probability of an event by seeing how readily examples come to mind, rather than by working out the real probabilities.

We use strategies to allow us to solve problems quickly. A mental shortcut to simplify decision making is called reasoning heuristic. Most of the time, the reasoning heuristics really are useful. They allow us to make decisions quickly and efficiently. But sometimes, they’re obstacles to effective, logical, and critical thinking.

One of the best known is the availability heuristic. We judge the probability of an event by how quickly and easily examples of that event come to mind, by how available they are to us, rather than by identifying all of the alternatives and working out the real probabilities.

But availability then can be caused by something other than probability, and that might lead us to make poor decisions.

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Logical and Critical Thinking

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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